Milk & Honey

January 31, 2013

"Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: 'Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you- from the Negev wilderness in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.' No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 'Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do no deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.'" Joshua 1:2-9

I know.
That's a lot of scripture.
But I'm going somewhere with this.
I hope you'll stick with me.

So, I'm about 100 days into reading my Bible through in a year.
And this morning, Moses died.
After God buried him, He went to Joshua and told him what I've shared with you in that scripture.
So here are a few observations I have made that I want to share with you all.

First, I've noticed that God had a time line.
You see, Moses knew ahead of time that he would never set foot in the Promised Land.
God told him that he would die before that happened.
But it didn't happen immediately.
God had some business to take care of first.

Enter Joshua.
God tells him exactly what's going down.
Fulfilling His promise.
And He has a few things to say to Joshua.

He let's Joshua know that it's time.
The waiting is over.
Whatever needed to happen has happened.
It's go time!

He spells out exactly what He's giving them.
Here it is.
Yours for the taking.
My gift.
This is Me keeping a promise I made to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.

And then He tells Josh
(is it okay that we call him that?)
something important.
He's letting him know that He still wants to hang out with them.
God tells Josh that He's not going anywhere.

He tells him over and over to "BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS".
Okay. Wait.
Why would God need to tell him that?
You would think that after 40 years in the wilderness God would just be like
"Okay. You've paid your dues. 
Go get it! I'll clear the way. 
Have fun. 
You deserve it."
Uh uh. Nope.
Not so fast!
It's not going to be that easy.

God did not just hand these sinners the prize.
Yes. It was theirs. He gave it to them.
But, it was going to be hard.
Because they had sinner's hearts.
We all do.
If it was easy, then they would be filled with pride
at what they had accomplished on their own,
forgetting that it was all God's doing in the first place.
God wants to give us our land flowing with milk and honey, too.
But He wants the glory for it!
He wants everyone to realize that we can do nothing without Him!
He makes the impossible possible.

And there's one more thing.
God tells Josh to "be very careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave".
He told him to "study the Book of Instruction continually"
so he would "be sure to obey everything written in it."
Obedience is the only way to prosper and succeed in all you do!
God gave instructions.
He. Wrote. Them. Down.
In stone.
"Then the Lord told Moses, 'Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed.'" Exodus 34:1

This is such a great example of how we are to grow in our Christian faith.
We need to learn to trust God's timing.
We're impatient by nature.
But, God does have our best interest at heart.

God wants a relationship with us.
We are His children & He wants to spend time with us.
He wants us to know that He will always be there for us.

God does not intend for us to live a life in fear and weakness.
He wants us to know that when we trust in His timing
and we have invested time a relationship getting to know Him,
He will give us the strength and courage we need to complete His will for us.

God has given us the rules and the rewards.
They go hand in hand.
He wants us to be obedient
And then we will be successful.
Know why Moses didn't make it to the Promised Land?
Disobedience and selfish pride.

Seems pretty simple.
Trust. Relationship. Strength & Courage. Obedience.
Milk & Honey.


Not So Fast

January 28, 2013

The kids and I were shopping a few days ago for craft supplies to make home made Valentine's. As you can imagine, it was just slightly crazy with FOUR kids eager to collect the things they need for their project. My mom came with us and, as usual, Aubree was glued to her side. They were looking at something and Aubree said to my mom, "Grammie, you see that old lady over there? She's thinking to herself, Wow! Look at that six year old girl. She can blow bubbles!"

First of all, Aubree just learned how to blow bubbles with bubble gum and she is beyond proud of herself- obviously. Secondly, Aubree just turned FIVE, not six. But she has desperately been wanting to be six years old for two years now. I don't know what kind of magic happens at six, but in her mind, it must be something special.

We finally finished our shopping and we were checking out and Aubree put her Strawberry Shortcake mouthwash onto the counter and said to the cashier, "Is this mouthwash going to burn? I'm a just kid you know." And I couldn't help but giggle because in her mind she was convinced that no one would know that she's just a kid if she doesn't tell them.

She is so funny. She keeps me on my toes ALL THE TIME. I look at her and think how little she still is. She's still just a baby. But, as she plays and I quietly spy, it's so obvious that she wants to be anything but a baby. She's ready to be a teenager. Her Polly Pockets are obviously teens by their conversations. She hates Dora, Bubble Guppies, Franklin and the the like now because "it's a baby show". She's always trying to leave the house with makeup on. And just yesterday, as I was trying to dress her for church, she was quick to inform me that the clothes I was trying to put on her were "not my style, MOM!" What? She's barely 5! She doesn't have a style. Does she?

Someone please have a talk with Aubree. Tell her not to grow up so fast. Tell her that life does not get easier. Tell her that hormones will soon begin to flood her little body and they will mess her up! Tell her that I'm not ready for her to hate me yet. Tell her I don't want to share her with boys {EVER!} and I want her to cuddle with me every night for the rest of our lives while she stares into my eyes with her sweet little face proclaiming her infinite love and adoration for me.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." Psalm 139:13-18


Mine & HIS

January 24, 2013

My little boy woke up this morning and crawled up onto the couch and snuggled in with me under the blanket.
"Good morning, buddy," I said, "Did you sleep well?"
He sweetly shook his head Yes.
I sat quietly for a few moments, breathing him in.
"You want to know a Super Secret?" I asked.
To which he replied, "You're gonna tell me I'm your favorite, but you tell all the kids that."
And then I corrected him, I said, "If you brought all the 9 year olds, in all the universe to me, I would always choose YOU! You're my favorite."

And then I got to thinking.
I really would choose him out of all the nine year olds of the world.
And I'd choose Karli of all the thirteen year olds, and Drake of the eleven year olds, and Aubree of the five year olds. And you know what else? I'd choose Freddie of all the men on the Earth.
I imagined a parade of people being presented to me.
Smart kids.
Beautiful kids.
Talented kids.
Sick kids that would be so easy to love.
Rich men.
Gorgeous men.
Men who are princes.
Powerful men.
Famous men.
But none would even tempt me to pick them over the family that I have.

I know my husband and my kids intimately.
We have relationships that are special.
We have built trust between us.
A trust that I would never dare to damage or break.
I know their hearts and I've glimpsed their souls.

And then I thought-
God feels that way about me.
He wouldn't trade me for anything.
I am His.
We have a special relationship.
There has been a Trust that has been built between us.
A trust that I would never dare to damage or break.
He knows my heart and has glimpsed my soul and claimed it for His own.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven ... (Matthew 10:30-32)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:9-11)

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:15-17)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-3237-39)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)


CONFESSION: I Got Smashed!

January 22, 2013

This is the year that I turn the big 4-0.
I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it.
It's going to happen no matter what.

So what does turning forty mean?
Maybe it means I can't wear certain "younger" fashion styles.
Maybe that extra ear piercing 
is not going to be a reasonable option anymore.
Maybe it means an earlier bedtime or thicker glasses.

Or maybe it means none of those things. 
Maybe it's just a number.
It's a milestone reached.
Wisdom earned.
It's a new season.

Whatever the case, this new season calls for subtle changes in my life.
For example, it's the season where my doctor recommends 
that I begin getting smashed!
Yep. You heard me right.
My doctor says I need to get smashed at least once a year.
So, being the obedient, rule abiding girl I am.. 
I did it!
And you know what?
It wasn't half bad.

I called for an appointment and I got one the very next day.
The orders were faxed in 
and insurance information was given.
I was asked not to wear any lotion or perfume or deodorant.
I showed up 
and when my name was called I was asked to take off everything above the waist 
and put on a robe that was waiting for me.
I entered into a room 
with a computer, 
a large machine, 
a very friendly lady, 
and a few other intimidating medical paraphernalia.
She asked me a few simple questions 
and I awkwardly confessed that I was nervous.
"It's okay," she said,
 "Many people are, but there's nothing to worry about."
I stepped over to The {large} Machine and opened my robe.
My milk factories were placed onto The Machine in turn.
A total of six pictures were taken in all. 
It was not painful in the least.
As a matter of fact, the worst part of the whole ordeal 
was the fact that I had stinky pits.
{For which I apologized.}
My appointment time was 2:15 p.m. 
and I was driving away in my car by 2:22 p.m.
{Finally applying the deodorant I was 
so glad that I remembered to bring along.}

It wasn't as fun as shopping or going on vacation, 
but neither is going to Walmart.
I'm really glad that I did it. 
My mind is at ease knowing what's going on with my girls.

So, if you're forty, almost forty, or older
 and you're not getting smashed every year, 
make an appointment today to get it done!
You won't be sorry. 
Getting a mammogram doesn't change the fact of whether or not 
you do or do not have cancer. 
It just puts you in control of your health and your life.

~Mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by nearly 1/3 since 1990.
~The ten-year risk for breast cancer in a 40 year old woman is 1 in 69.
~1 in 6 breast cancers occur in women aged 40-49.
~Of all the years of life saved by mammography, 40% are for women in their 40s.
~3/4 of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease and are not considered high risk.
~Even for women 50+, skipping a mammogram every other year would miss up to 30% of cancers.
~For every 1,000 women who have a screening mammogram:
     *100 are recalled to get more mammography or ultrasound images
     *20 are recommended for a needle biopsy
     *5 are diagnosed with breast cancer

Annual mammograms can detect cancer early - when it is most treatable. In fact, mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Mammograms can also prevent the need for extensive treatment for advanced cancers and improve chances of breast conservation. Current guidelines from the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society, and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend that women receive annual mammograms starting at age 40 - even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer.

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1Corinthians 6:19-20


Buddy, Ole Pal

January 15, 2013

I work very hard to have a good relationship with my kids.

Each one of them is very different and they all have unique needs & personalities.
I have invested much time and effort into getting to intimately learn the heart of my littles.

I love that I can interact with them beyond the borders of parent and child.
There is a certain element of friendship in my connections with my kids.

But what happens when they take advantage of that special aspect of our alliance?

Somehow, respect tends to fall by the wayside as a more casual rapport develops.
They become distracted by the fun part of "us" and lose sight of the authority in my role.

That is a painful part of the benefits of being a buddy.
So, should I just cut out the casual and go for the business-only approach?

I think that it's important in building trust to have that give and take with my kids.
It's a good thing for them to be able to cut loose and be playful with me, and vice-versa.
But, they've got to learn that respect is always a key element between us.
There is a certain respect that they are to give me always,
just like there is a certain respect that they expect from me.

Some people may disagree with me and say that it is not possible to be a good parent and be a friend to your child(ren).
I say that you can, as long as you maintain a clear boundary and that they know that the parent trumps the friend.

"and so train the young women to love their husbands and children," Titus 2:4

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2Timothy 1:7

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:29-32


The Post About Home Schooling

January 9, 2013

Most of you already know that we are a home schooling family.
Some of you may think that I am a horrible mother 
because of that decision.
Others look at me with eyes that half envy our family 
because you would like to home school your children 
but, for whatever reason, do not feel qualified.

The question that I most often hear is
"Is it hard to home school?"
My answer is almost always exactly the same.
"It's not any harder than homework."
And that's a truthful answer.
But, it is the simple answer.

I guess, what I want people to know about home schooling 
is that, first and foremost,
 it is a blessing to our family.
It has become something that has aged 
into a really comfortable fit.
But, it's kind of like a new shoe- 
At first, it's stiff and there can be blisters and bleeding, 
even though it's super cute to look at.
But, in time, the shoe softens,
 it curves and molds to fit your foot just so.
Some people can wear heels, wedges, & stilettos 
because that's what they're most comfortable in.
But others can only wear tennis shoes or flip flops,
while others still can only wear orthopedic shoes.

A lot of people are curious as to why we home school.
The short answer to that is because God told me to.
Now, some of you will, 
but not everyone is going to understand that answer.
Basically, we had some of the same struggles with public school
 as many of you do.
And our kids were doing okay- some better than others.
But, for whatever reason, 
God put a burden on my husband's heart, 
and eventually my heart,
to educate our children at home. 
And we obeyed.
That decision does not make us less than or more than you.
It's just God's plan for our family.

As much as I would like everyone to believe 
that it is a perfect choice, 
I can't honestly say that it is.
As with anything, there are pros and cons.
We benefit more than we sacrifice,
so that's what makes it the right choice for us.
And, if at any point, the scale tips the other direction, 
we can choose to send our kids back to public or private school.
I've always said that public school 
is not the worst thing you can do to your kids.

For those of you who would love to home school your child(ren) but do not feel like you can, 
I would like to say that "You Can!"
I am not a Super Hero endowed with Super Powers.
I am simply a mother, 
who loves her children, 
who puts their education high up on the priority list, 
who is somewhat organized, 
who absolutely has a routine.

I don't have all the answers
 to every question that arises in school.
But, I know where to look to find those answers.
I am capable of learning, just like my kids are.
And a lot of the time, 
my kids are smarter than I am 
when it comes to facts and equations.
But, we live in a day and age 
where there is literally an endless source of 
information at our fingertips.

Finally, for those of you who are serious 
about wanting to home school 
but do not know where to start.
I say, start on your knees.
Make sure you hear from God first.
Then, start asking questions of other home schooling families.
Figure out how your child best receives information 
so that you know whether or not
to choose a computer based curriculum 
or a more hands-on approach.
There are countless options out there. 
Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with the choices.
Do research and ask questions.
And then, give yourself time
to break in your new pair of shoes.
Expect blisters and bleeding at first.
Before you know it, it'll be soft and comfortable.
And, if your shoes fall apart, 
you can always get a new pair.

Also, I want you to all realize that 
you are all home schooling your children. 
Whether or not they learn math and science at home 
or in a classroom somewhere.
You teach them morals, coping skills, religious beliefs, 
responsibility, honor, cooking, cleaning, hygiene.
The list goes on and on.
We are all parents who teach our children at home.
So, you see, we're really not that different after all.

"Train a child up in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." Deuteronomy 6:5-8


The Sixth Sick Sheikh's Sixth Sheep's Sick

January 7, 2013

Did you know...
One taste bud has 50-100 taste cells. No single cell can identify both sweet and bitter.

The tongue can pick up a fifth taste and the Japanese named it umami. It is the chemical responsible for glutamate.

The blue whale has the largest tongue. It is the size of an elephant and weighs 5,400 lbs!

The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body and the only muscle that is connected at only one end.

The tongue heals faster than any other part of the body.

Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue is proven to prevent heart attacks, pneumonia, premature births, diabetes, osteoporosis and infertility in men.

The human tongue is as unique to you as your fingerprints since it comes in various shapes and has a variable number of taste buds.

Your tongue never stops working. Even when you sleep it is pushing saliva into your throat.

Thomas Blackstone holds the record for the strongest tongue. He lifted a 24lb 3oz weight that was hooked through his tongue.

The saying "cat got your tongue" originated 2500 years ago in ancient Assyria where conquered soldiers and criminals had their tongues cut out and fed to the king's cats.

The hardest tongue twister in the English language (according to Guinness World Records) is "The sixth sick sheikh's sixth sheep's sick."

We use our tongues to communicate by forming words that are decipherable to others.
Those words hold in them the power to hurt or heal.

How do you use the words from your tongue?

I know that I have done both.
I probably do both every single day.
Most of the time, it's not intentional to hurt others by what I say.
I'm just allowing my mouth to move faster than my brain.
Dangerous stuff, I tell ya.

I have been able to be an encouraging friend with my words.
I have used my tongue to express my love for others.
I use my tongue to teach my children,
sing songs of praise to God,
and {attempt} to be funny and witty.

And then there are the times that I have said things.
On purpose.
To justify my own pride.
Which hurt others in the process.
I have used my tongue as a sword.
A dagger to the heart.

I walk away, feeling satisfied in the moment.
But at what cost?
If I am supposedly representing the Love of Jesus
what message do I send to others when I am catty and messy?
That feeling of "I guess I told her" turns into "Oh no! What have I done?"
In the end, I'm left embarrassed that I gave in to selfish pride.
I did not take the high road; the one less traveled.
I let Satan win.

"So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!" James 3:5

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21

"A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." Proverbs 15:4

"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak," Matthew 12:36 {those are the words of Jesus Himself!}

"Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit." Psalm 34:13

"With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so." James 3:9-10

They've made me feel like a prisoner
They've made me feel set free
They've made me feel like a criminal 
Made me feel like a king
They've lifted my heart to places I've never been
They've dragged me down back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart
Or put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't want to say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
God, your voice is the only thing we need to hear

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts
Or put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't want to say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
Let the words I say
Be the sound of Your grace
I don't want to say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I want to speak Your love
Not just another noise
I want to be Your life
I want to be Your voice


The Trouble With Kids

January 4, 2013

Being a parent is hard.

I remember when I had babies & toddlers.
I usually almost always felt at my wits end.
Tired. Exhausted!
When I would crawl into bed at night, I would often cry because I knew that I was not going to get enough sleep and wake up still tired and have to face the trials of another day.

I envied moms with older children because their lives were "so much easier" than mine since their kids were no trouble at all anymore.
I was super secretly somewhat resentful when they agreed with me about how hard being a parent is because it was not that hard for them anymore.
I could not understand why they were feeling sorry for themselves.
They needed to be feeling sorry for me.
I actually thought that things were going to get easier {for me} as soon as my kids got older.
{I hear you laughing. You can stop now.}

The old people had a saying in Cajun French that basically translated to
little child, little troubles
big child, big troubles
It sounded all fine and good.
But, honestly, it's significance was lost on me.

Flash forward.

My kids are sleeping through the night.
I am no longer a milk factory.
Most of them can provide basic hygiene for themselves (if I remind them).
Some can prepare simple meals and many can help out with household chores.
There are certainly many areas where things have, in fact, gotten "easier".

But, I totally get that the bigger the child the bigger the troubles.
Translate- troubles = heartaches 

There is nothing more painful than watching your child's heart being broken.
Decisions are not as simple as breast or bottle anymore.
Encouraging independence and experiencing independence are two totally different feelings.

I second guess my decisions as a parent all the time.
This is so hard!
Nobody told me it was going to become more difficult.
At least, if they did, I didn't listen.
How do you know what the right thing to do is in the long run?
How is this (whatever this may be today) going to affect them later?
Am I hurting more than I am helping?
Will (s)he still want to spend time with me when (s)he doesn't have to?

I'll be the first to admit that Freddie and I make some decisions for our children that are not considered popular in today's society.
But is that a bad thing?
My heart and everything I believe in says screams NO!
But I tell you, sometimes, it hurts. BAD.
And sometimes, it's a very scary place to live.

I worry.
I know I shouldn't.
I can't help it.
I'm human and I make mistakes.
Even though I believe what God says. All of it.
I still sometimes worry that I've made a mess too big for Him to clean up.
Crazy. I know.

And then.
I look at my children.
The same ones who just had a crazy mad MMA brawl in the back yard yesterday that left the baby in tears for the better part of half an hour.
I see them instantly turn to God in prayer over the slightest hint of trouble.
And there are the scripture verses that they've posted in their private places as reminders & encouragement.
It's boundaries that they've created for themselves that their conscience won't let them cross.

Yes. It's hard being a parent.
I second guess my imperfect, flawed self more often than I care to admit to.
But I will rely on the Grace of my Father to protect us, hold us,  and keep us.
I will practice FAITH in His perfect love for not only me, but my kids, too!
We will continue to follow wherever He leads us.
Even if it's in the opposite direction of everyone else.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and keep you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10


Have a Little Faith

January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

I have definitely been scarce here, but, my blog and my readers have certainly been on my mind. 
I've immersed myself in the holidays and all that entails. 
But now, my CHRISTmas tree 
and all 357 balls 
(yes, I counted each one as I took them off to put them away)
are down, the decorations are packed away 
into pretty, red, plastic bins until November. 
I am working on readying my little ones to get back into our regular routine of school. 

CHRISTmas was wonderful.
We were able to celebrate with dear family and friends!
It was a lot of work, but so worth it. 
By the time next CHRISTmas gets here, 
I will be ready to do it all over again.

For the past few years, I have had a tradition of Naming the Year
instead of naming Resolutions that I probably won't keep.
Last year was my year of Service and the year before was my year of Growth.
I choose one word that has been placed upon my heart 
as an area of my life to intentionally focus on.
This year, I have chosen to be my year of Faith.

faith- (noun)  a strong or unshakable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence

This is one area where I am being stretched.
Don't get me wrong, 
I am not saying that I am having doubts about my belief in God.
What I mean, is that as we walk through life, 
we all face things that have a tendency to shake us up.
Things that test our resolve and our confidence.
When that happens, we have to set aside our selves and have faith in God-
We have to believe in our core that, 
no matter how unnatural, or scary, or hopeless the situation may feel, 
He has our best interest at heart and 
His plan is to prosper us, to give us a future and a hope! 
This year, I will purpose to set my point of view from a Faith-based stance 
as opposed to a world-based stance.

If you were to "Name the Year", what would you choose for 2013?
Would you accept my challenge to name your year instead of naming resolutions?
I hope you'll leave a comment telling me what you're naming 2013!

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." Hebrews 11:6

"Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1Peter 1:8-9

"Count it all joy, my brothers  when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4